Pune counts differently abled, other districts to follow

In comprehensive study, 29,000 identified in 13 talukas; survey to be replicated in other districts, says disability commissioner

A special drive to identify the differently abled and assess their status being carried out in the district is likely to become a model for the state to replicate. At present, there no comprehensive data on the differentially abled available in the district.

A detailed survey over the last few months in the district being carried out by the Disability Commissionerate has come up with a figure of 29,000 differently abled in the district.

Besides basic details, the questionnaire probed whether the differently abled had the mandatory civil surgeon certificate, the percentage of disability as well an identity card. "It was our attempt to find out what these persons needed, whether they were employed and whether they get benefits from government schemes,'' said district official Sanjay Kadam who got his team to work out the details for each taluka. While municipal corporations had the data, rural areas under the Zilla Parishad and municipal councils did not have it ready.

Details being compiled include whether they have any serious ailment, whether they need any surgery, the members in their family, whether they belong to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category, their source of income, whether they have a toilet block in their house, are they students and do they attend school. The survey is also listing whether they are getting benefits like railway concession, and whether they are eligible for the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana.

"This is the first-of-its-kind detailed survey which will be matched with census figures and the same will be replicated in all the districts in the state,'' said Disability Commissioner Bajirao Jadhav.

Away for election duty in Dehradun, he said he plans to return on October 16 and kickstart the programme in other districts as well.

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